News & Stories
Children In Hospital Get New Playroom
New Johnny M Playroom Opens at Cooper Children’s Regional Hospital
CAMDEN, N.J.— The Cooper Foundation in partnership with the Johnny M Foundation today celebrated the opening of the new Johnny M Playroom at Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper.
The playroom and an adjacent family lounge are made possible by a grant from the Johnny M Foundation, established in 2010 by Patti and John Murabito, of Mount Laurel, to honor the memory of their son Johnny Murabito, Jr., who died when he was just 3 years old.
“We are honored to partner with the Murabito family to help make a difference in the lives of children and families during their stay at Cooper,” said Susan Bass Levin, President and CEO of The Cooper Foundation. “The expansion of the Child Life Program, including the new playroom, is a fitting tribute to Johnny, whose spirit will live on in all those who are touched by this generous gift.”
Designed as an outdoor space within the hospital, the focal point of the playroom is a custom “tree” with a flat-screen TV built in. The space also features a customized outdoor barbecue play set, a toadstool table and chair set, and butterflies suspended in the air. An adjacent family lounge is designed to give a feel of being on an outdoor deck and will provide a relaxing environment for parents and families while their little one is in the hospital.
The Johnny M Foundation has pledged $750,000 to establish the Johnny Murabito Child Life Program at Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper. In addition to the new playroom and family room, the gift will support the expansion of the activities offered by the Child Life Program, including art and music therapy.
“We are tremendously grateful to the Murabito family for their generosity and for providing our youngest patients a warm, friendly and modern playspace where they can escape the rigors of their hospital stay,” said George E. Norcross, III. “Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper is the only state-designated acute children’s hospital in South Jersey. This playroom enhances the care we provide, helping children feel better, faster.”
Norcross and Levin were joined for the ribbon cutting by Patti and John Murabito along with Adrienne Kirby PhD, President and CEO, Cooper University Health Care, and Michael Goodman, MD, Chief of Pediatrics, Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper.
“It is our hope with this project that Johnny’s memory will live on longer than his three short years,” said Patti Murabito. “He touched so many lives while he was here with his beautiful smile and funny personality, and he will continue to touch many more lives and bring smiles and laughter to other girls and boys in their time of need.”
John Murabito added: “Johnny loved life and people. We know he would want us to continue to keep living every day to its fullest and to help children overcome challenges so they can too can go on to live full lives.”
The Murabito’s also donated more than 200 books for the Johnny M Playroom that they collected at the 5th Annual Johnny M Foundation Gala held last month.
Click here to view photos from the event.
About the Cooper Foundation/Cooper University Health Care
The Cooper Foundation serves as the philanthropic, community outreach and community development arm of Cooper University Health Care, one of the largest health systems in southern New Jersey with over 100 outpatient offices and its flagship, Cooper University Hospital located in Camden, N.J. It is the premier university hospital serving South Jersey and the Delaware Valley. Cooper has reaffirmed its role as a leader in medical education and research with the opening of Cooper Medical School of Rowan University in 2012, the first four-year allopathic medical school in South Jersey. Cooper is renowned for signature programs in cardiology, cancer, critical care, pediatrics, trauma, orthopedics and neurosciences. Cooper is also home to the only state designated Children’s Hospital in South Jersey—the Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper. Over the last decade, Cooper has transformed its Camden City neighborhood into the Cooper Health Sciences Campus. In October 2013, the new MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper, a freestanding cancer center for comprehensive care, opened on the Health Sciences Campus.
About the Johnny M Foundation The Johnny M Foundation was established in 2010 to honor the memory of Johnny Murabito, Jr., who died when he was just 3 years old. The Foundation is committed to all children having access to life’s basic necessities during their formative years, as well as opportunities to foster productive lives as they grow into adulthood. Providing building blocks such as nurturing families, paths to quality education, and gateways to recreation and merriment through fun extra-curricular activities enables children whose families face adverse circumstances to enjoy the same quality-of-life as those more fortunate.